In April, Tom Ross, the president of the University of North Carolina system, sent a letter to the university's board of governors announcing that students should brace for a hike in the cost of university-provided insurance plans. Ross explained that at least 64,000 North Carolina college students - roughly a third of those enrolled in the state's 17 public universities - should expect to see "substantial" increases in health coverage costs for the 2012-2013 academic year.
"Based on more than three semesters of actual claims experience, as well as the new provisions of the Affordable Care Act, we are facing large increases in premiums for our students," Ross wrote in the letter.
Students who purchase insurance plans from North Carolina public universities this fall will be shelling out $709 per semester. That's up significantly from a cost of $460 per semester last year.
Rising premiums are not limited to public universities. Students at Guilford College, a private liberal arts college in Greensboro, were informed in July that the cost of their school-provided health insurance plan was set to rise from $668 per semester in 2011 to $1,179 per semester this fall.
"Our student health insurance policy premium has been substantially increased due to changes required by federal regulations issued on March 16, 2012 under the Affordable Care Act," reads the letter, which was distributed Greg Bursavich, the school's Vice President for Finance.
The main reason for the price hike, Bursavich wrote, is a requirement that health plans provide a minimum policy benefit of $100,000 instead of the $50,000 minimum previously offered by the Guilford-provided plan.